Future Finance Solutions

William Simon: Investor, Olympic Committee Member and Philanthropist

March 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phineas Upham

William Edward Simon held many positions over his lifetime. Simon was foremost an investor, and a high profile one at that. His activities got him recognized by the Nixon administration, where he served as Secretary of the Treasury.

Simon was born in 1927 in New Jersey. His father was an insurance executive, and his mother raised him at home. He completed his education in 1952, a bit late but common for those who enlisted in the US military. No sooner had he finished school than he began working at Union Securities. He caught the eye of Weedon & Co., where he was offered position of Vice President. This was the start of an illustrious Wall Street career that would continue until 1973, helping him to amass the fortune he would use later in life to donate to several organizations.

He was America’s first energy czar, and proved a central part of the revisions for the 1973 oil import program. A year later, in 1974, Simon would be called upon to become the Secretary of the Treasury. George Schultz was stepping down and Attorney General John Mitchell supported the move. With their backing, he was able to use his seat to denounce government policies he viewed as meddling or subsidizing business. He was also a vocal supporter of the free market, and fought to uphold those values. He would hold this position through the Nixon administration, into Ford’s tenure as President.

He finally left government in the early 80s and shifted his focus to the private sector. He’d also been active as the US Olympic Committee treasurer from 1977 to 1981. When he relieved himself of government responsibility, he became the committee’s president. Most of Simon’s philanthropic activities took place in the realm of sports, but he also established the Simon Professorship at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.